Comic Book Novelizations to be Thankful For

Comic Book Novelizations to be Thankful For

"Comic book novels" might seem like an oxymoron. Sure, between Justice League, Wonder Woman, and the constant stream of Marvel flicks dominating the box office this year, comic book movies are mainstream hits. It makes sense for the dynamic visuals of comics to translate spectacularly to the big screen. Wouldn't a novelization lose some of that magic? Recent publishing trends are proving the opposite, with an influx of comic book novelizations that write panel-by-panel action directly onto the page. The exciting result is what Emma Nichols calls "cross-pollination," giving reluctant readers a gateway into novels, while chapter book fans find an entry point to the highly adaptable world of comics.

continue reading >>

Creating a Classroom of Readers

Creating a Classroom of Readers

​Trying to get kids excited about reading can feel like trying to get them excited about going to the dentist, or maybe vacuuming. Too many kids think of reading as a chore, but fifth-grade teacher Rachel Weidenhammer is flipping the script.

continue reading >>

How to Make Your Own Graphic Novel Library

How to Make Your Own Graphic Novel Library

​Teaching Special Education, Zac Clarke works with a lot of reluctant readers. For his students, reading is frustrating, but Zac's "Graphic Novel Library" shows them how it can also be fun! Students of all ages love checking out his graphic novels, whose format makes stories accessible to a variety of learning styles. Parents, however, aren't always on board. Without a budget, Zac started with just one shelf of books, and has since grown his collection through grants, crowdfunding, and out of his own pocket.

continue reading >>

Creating Comics in the Classroom

Creating Comics in the Classroom

​Comics can do wonderful things in the classroom, from reaching reluctant readers to kickstarting digital learning. The only thing better than reading comics is making your own! When students plan out their own stories, they not only think critically about what they’re expressing, but also how they’re going to express it. And once students learn creative communication, combining words and pictures is just the tip of the iceberg! We get it, not all of us are art teachers, but with the internet, any student can start telling their stories through comics right away.

continue reading >>

Updating Library Visibility

Updating Library Visibility

"With the internet, do we even need libraries?" Yikes, that's a scary question, but the short answer is yes! Of course we need libraries, and we always will. From community programming to one-on-one reading support, librarians provide so much that a Google search just can't. And yet, in the tech age, their roles are being questioned more than ever. School Library Journal gives librarians 8 ways to stay connected with their communities and show them that as the world changes, libraries do too.

continue reading >>

Q&A with Dana Simpson!

Q&A with Dana Simpson!

Phoebe and Marigold never slow down, and neither does their author! From Phoebe and Her Unicorn's fifth collection in March to their very first graphic novel just last week, creator Dana Simpson has had a magical year. Lucky for us, we caught up with her long enough to talk unicorns, friendship, and how kids have found a friend in Phoebe.

continue reading >>

Why Are Comics Under Attack?

Why Are Comics Under Attack?

Comics and graphic novels are more popular than ever, reaching increasingly wide audiences and fearlessly tackling real-life subjects that hit home with readers. Not everyone is super thrilled about seeing the medium gain ground in the literary world, however, making illustrated books especially vulnerable to censorship. In 2016, the top two most challenged books were graphic novels for kids, including the Stonewall Book Award-winning Drama by Raina Telgemeier for its depiction of LGBT characters. For Banned Books Week, Washington Post takes a closer look at why these books have come under attack and why it's important to defend the powerful stories they tell.

continue reading >>

Comics Resources Masterpost

Comics Resources Masterpost

These days, almost everything you’d want to know is just a Google search away. The information you need is out there. Unfortunately, it’s usually buried under piles of misinformation. (Not to mention ads catered specifically to your online shopping weaknesses.) The former is especially true for comics, which have gotten a bad rap over the years as a classroom distraction, when really, they can unlock a world of educational opportunities! We’re here to help you wade through some of the nonsense and get straight to the good stuff with our Comics Resources Masterpost.

continue reading >>

Shannon Hale Addresses Gender Segregation at Author Events

Shannon Hale Addresses Gender Segregation at Author Events

After author Shannon Hale spoke at a school where only girls were allowed to attend, she wrote a blog post about the widespread belief that women only have things of interest to say to girls while men’s voices are universally important. The propagation of the belief that boys not only won’t like books with female protagonists, they aren’t expected to understand and empathize with half of the population of the world is a disservice to us all. More at the Chicago Tribune site.

continue reading >>

Reading Levels: Helpful Tool or Restrictive Label?

Reading Levels: Helpful Tool or Restrictive Label?

Levels are designed to be a tool, not a label, but some argue that’s exactly what levels have become because they base a child’s reading identity on an outside influence rather their own intuition. Since student choice is a huge part of reading motivation, does restricting kids to a prescribed level do more harm than good? If so, how do educators help kids find interesting, appropriate reading material, without leveling? Read about the issue and find strategies over at School Library Journal!

continue reading >>

Want more reading activities for kids?

Sign up to receive email updates from Amp! Kids